Sept. 17, 2002
CHICAGO - U.S. Women's National Team head coach April Heinrichs has named Santa Clara University senior midfielder Aly Wagner as one of 28 players to train for four days in Long Island, N.Y., before the USA opens the 2002 Nike U.S. Women's Cup against Russia at the Mitchel Athletic Complex on Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. PT in a match presented by Philips Electronics.Additionally, former Bronco players Danielle Slaton and Brandi Chastain have also been named to the roster.
The training will serve a dual purpose for Heinrichs, who will choose 18 players to represent the USA in the tournament, but will also be using the time to evaluate her pool in preparation for the 2002 CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup, which will serve as the USA's qualification tournament for the 2003 Women's World Cup in China. The Women's Gold Cup, which also serves as the Regional championship, will be held from Oct. 27-Nov. 9, 2002 at four venues on the west coast of the United States and Canada.
Following the Nike U.S. Women's Cup opener against Russia at the home field of the New York Power, the USA will travel to Cary, N.C., to play two matches at the new SAS Park, home of the WUSA champion Carolina Courage. The American women face Australia on Oct. 2 at 4:30 p.m. PT live on ESPN2 and then finish the tournament against Italy on Oct. 6 at 11 a.m. PT in a match also broadcast live on ESPN2. The tournament concludes with one more match in Cary, N.C. as Italy takes on Australia on Oct. 9. The U.S. has amassed a 21-0-0 record across the eight U.S. Women's Cups, winning seven championships (last year's tournament was canceled after the events of Sept. 11) against many of the top teams in the world.
Heinrichs has spoken often about blending the U.S veterans, the young professionals from the WUSA and the up-and-coming young stars of the future, and this roster is representative of that philosophy. Heinrichs called in 23 WUSA players, including 12 players with 75 or more caps, but also named 10 WUSA players with 32 or less caps. Heinrichs named four college players. In addition, Heinrichs named three stars from the USA's 2002 Under-19 World Championship team in midfielder Lori Chalupny and forward Lindsay Tarpley of UNC as well as high school senior Heather O'Reilly.
Defender Joy Fawcett returns after missing the Scotland match due to a prior commitment, but forward Tiffeny Milbrett will sit out the NIKE U.S. Women's Cup as she is still recuperating from the long WUSA season. Defender Danielle Slaton, the youngest member of the 2000 Olympic Team and the 2002 WUSA Defender of the Year, also returns after missing the last two events to rest an injured knee.
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